Vicarious trauma symptoms within the police: The modulatory role of emotional expression

Gavin Oxburgh*, Lauren Horwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


There is no doubt that repeated exposure to traumatic material can increase the susceptibility of VT symptoms within an organisational context. Despite this, previous efforts to explore this construct in a variety of helping professions has been limited, especially within the police service per se. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that police officers and police staff are not immune to psychological difficulties following a traumatic experience within their professional roles. Emotional Expression (EE) was also investigated due to its potentially moderating properties which can affect the susceptibility of developing VT. Research has shown that negative attitudes towards emotional expression can block the processing of trauma, therefore potentially increasing psychological distress and vulnerability to developing both VT and PTSD.

The main objective of this study was to address these gaps in previous research and attempt to clarify any differing effects amongst genders and profession (staff and officers). Results remain confidential to the authors and Northumbria Police
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
Publication statusUnpublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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